A slave of art: The Vijay Sethupathi interview

“If I fail, I become a bad, frightening example for this road. They will point at this route and say, “That’s where Vijay Sethupathi died.” For this reason, I must not fail. My success is important.”

96: A beautiful idea, an efficient film

96 works beautifully in theory… in the head. Long-lost lovers fitting together again — like two pieces in a jigsaw puzzle — just for an evening, after more than a decade, is a dreamy idea. He’s Ram (Vijay Sethupathi), and she’s, no surprises, his Janaki (Trisha). He’s become a photographer, and sought refuge in the…

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam: An in-form Mani Ratnam hits this gangster film out of the park

“While people pump each other with bullets, Rahman’s music remains observant while being strangely detached. It’s a shrug of the narrator’s shoulder, at the unstoppable tragedy of it all.

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is a shining example of song integration into story. Pay attention to how variations of Sevandhu Pochu Nenju get used in this film in bits and pieces. Or even better, how about Mazhai Kuruvi, which transforms from love to lament?”

Don-u don-u don-u

“You have to wonder when we went from being repulsed by these outlaws to rooting for them. When indeed did our filmmakers begin to conceive a don as a cool leader, his violent tendencies, like in Maari, supposedly an amusing extension of his proclivity for mischief.”

Junga: A stingy don goes to France to ruin the film

“Both are somewhere on an icy landscape in France, and the camera glides over them like a bird; you instantly realise with trepidation that a duet is about to be detonated. Sure enough, you get Koottippo Koodave, a song in which the hero stands and walks around, as Yazhini performs a mating ritual dance near him. I suppose it’s my fault that I thought this hero was above such filmmaking.”